Promise of emerging market countries is wishful thinking


WOE is Brazil. As the summer Olympics approach in August, Latin America's largest country - with a population of 206 million people and an economy that is 40 per cent of the region's total - is caught in a harsh slump and faces a political crisis that could result in its president being impeached. How did this happen? What does it mean?

A decade ago, Brazil was a poster child for "emerging market" countries whose surging economies would ultimately make them wealthy nations. Remember BRIC. The acronym stood for "Brazil, Russia, India, China", which were the anointed leaders. From 2004 to 2008, Brazil's economy averaged growth of almost 5 per cent a year, reports the Organisation for Economic...

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